Canadian Immigration Lawyers Explain the Various Immigration Options

Canadian flag in front of clock tower.

As of 2022, Canada ranks 12th in the list of the safest countries in the world, with a peace index of 1.39. Add to that its stable political structure, high quality of life, universal healthcare, abundant job opportunities, and top-quality education, and we know why it’s a hotspot for immigrants worldwide.

It also helps that Canada has a pro-immigration stance and a diverse, multicultural population welcoming people of all ethnicities. In fact, the government of Canada has made an active effort to bring in more immigrants to the country to tackle the country’s growing labour demands and aging population.

To that end, Canada is the perfect place for all young and skilled people looking to start new lives there. The best part is that no matter where you are in the world and your circumstances, there are many immigration options for you to choose from.

At Nanda & Associate Lawyers, our immigration lawyers in Toronto and Mississauga regularly help people explore various Canadian immigration options and help them choose the best one, depending on their profile.

Are you also seeking the best pathway to immigrate to Canada? Our team of Canadian immigration lawyers has rounded up a list of all the major Canadian immigration options that you can choose from.

Express Entry

Initiated in 2015, the Express Entry pathway is the most popular option that primarily targets skilled and qualified immigrants interested in getting Canadian permanent residence. This program was started to supplement the economic resurgence in Canada and the need for skilled labour.

Every individual applying for express entry gets a score in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-scoring individuals get an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

The system essentially organizes immigration applications into three immigration streams that are as follows:

1. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The CEC program targets individuals who have worked in Canada as temporary residents with a valid work permit. These applicants can apply for Express Entry after completing at least one year in a full-time job that’s at least 30 hours per week. They can also meet this requirement by finishing the same number of hours doing part-time jobs. However, the experience should be in the last three years before applying.

2. Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

The FSW program is geared towards qualified individuals who have foreign work experience and meet the age, education level, language ability, and adaptability criteria. Interest applicants can check their eligibility for this program by filling out a questionnaire to calculate their score on a 100-point grid. All applicants with more than 67 points score are eligible to apply for the FSW stream in Express Entry.

3. Federal Skilled Trades (FST)

The FST program is for individuals who have specific in-demand skills backed by a job offer from a Canadian employer or a certification recognized in Canada. Applicants interested in this option can check their National Occupational Classification (NOC) to see confirm their category.

If their trades are in Major Groups 72, 73, 82, 83, 92, and 93, Minor Group 6320 or Unit Group 62200, they’ll be eligible to apply. Applicants should also show at least 2 years of work experience in the trade they’re applying for.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

PNP is an option for people going through the Express Entry route and those simply applying for this program. Every province in Canada has an “immigration stream” where they look for applicants with specific NOCs. Sometimes, the provinces pick candidates directly from the Express Entry pool, and sometimes, they pick those who apply directly.

The chosen individuals receive a provincial nomination, which guarantees their immigration to Canada. For those in the Express Entry program, a provincial nomination adds 600 points to the total CRS score, which puts them among the highest scorers in the Express Entry pool.

Colleagues collaborating informally.

Family Sponsorship

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has always prioritized family reunification. This pathway allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their families to Canada to live as permanent residents. These relatives are not required to meet selection criteria like other Canadian immigration options. Here are the relatives eligible for family sponsorship:

  • Spouse or common-law partner
  • Parents and grandparents
  • Dependent children, grandchildren, and adopted children
  • Brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces.

Mother sitting with child on the floor.

Quebec Skilled Workers and Quebec Immigrant Investor Program

Under the Quebec Skilled Workers Program, Quebec has an agreement with the federal government to have its own immigration process to allow a stream of skilled workers with specific NOCs willing to work in Quebec and adapt to the weather there. Individuals interested in moving to Canada can also invest $1,200,000 in Quebec and show willingness to settle under the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program.

Immigration for Self-Employed Individuals

Canada also encourages self-employed individuals to secure permanent residence in the country. These people must have experience in athletics or relevant cultural activities and should contribute to Canada’s athletic or cultural side. This program was started to attract talent into the country and put Canada at the forefront of global competitions.

Two women chatting in a workplace

Student Direct Stream (SDS)

Introduced in June 2018, the SDS is an immigration program started by IRCC that fast-tracks students’ entry from China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The students are required to have legal residence or citizenship in these countries and should also be living in their country to be eligible for this program.

Immigration for Caregivers

All individuals living abroad with experience with home care for people with disabilities or elderly people are eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada. The Caregiver Program is an agreement between the employer and the caregiver. Under this program, the caregiver is typically given a live-in arrangement.

They also need to assure IRCC that there will be no wage deductions for boarding and lodging of the caregiver.

Two people holding hands.

Immigration through Start-Up Visa

Currently, the Start-Up Visa Program is in the pilot phases and is geared toward foreign entrepreneurs who wish to start and establish their own businesses in Canada. These people can get permanent residency through their start-ups.

These entrepreneurs should have the skills and the potential to start a business in Canada and create more jobs for the permanent residents and citizens of the country. They should also have support from at least one designated company in Canada.

Refugee Immigration

The Canadian government supports the resettlement of refugees living in war-torn parts of the world or people in immediate life-threatening danger. The Canadian refugee system can be divided into two streams:

  • The Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program target refugees living outside the country, identified by UNHCR.
  • The In-Canada Asylum Program is for people making refugee claims from within Canada.

IRCC must approve refugee claims before the individual receives permanent residence in Canada.

refugee kids looking through the tyre.

Intra Company Transfers

Under this program, any foreign business can transfer its employees to its subsidiary, branch, or parent company based in Canada. These employees get work permits without applying for the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and receive a temporary resident visa.

The International Mobility Program (IMP)

IRCC runs this program in collaboration with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Under IMP, Canadian employers can get work permits for their foreign workers, allowing them to live as temporary and eventually permanent residents. This program applies to all jobs that don’t require the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Women collaborating in a workplace.

Global Skill Strategy

Introduced in June 2017, the Global Skill Strategy allows Canadian companies to hire highly skilled international candidates. This allows the fast-track entry of exceptionally skilled talent into the country so local employers can benefit from it. This program aims to improve Canada’s attractiveness for global investments and bring social and economic benefits.

Explore Your Canadian Immigration Options with Nanda & Associate Lawyers

If you’re not sure which Canadian immigration option will work best for you, we’re here to help. At Nanda & Associate Lawyers, we have some of the top immigration lawyers in Toronto and Mississauga. If you choose us, our immigration attorneys will tell you all you need to know about Express Entry, family sponsorship, refugee claims and appeals, business immigration, and more.

You can also hire real estate, personal injury, family, civil litigations, business, and will & estate lawyers at our firm.

Book an appointment today to get a free consultation with our team now.

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